Monday, November 14, 2011

We need less space!

I took a lot of keyboarding classes in junior high and high school. Do you know what they taught me?
Put two spaces after each sentence.

Apparently that's wrong! It changed years ago, and I NEVER KNEW. Until a year ago or so, that is. (Are you doing it wrong, too? Read this article.) Here's the quote in the article that really got me:

"I talk about 'type crimes' often, and in terms of what you can do wrong, this one deserves life imprisonment. It's a pure sign of amateur typography."

I don't know about you, but I pride myself on being a law-abiding typist. LIFE IMPRISONMENT doesn't sound all that fun, so I re-trained myself. It wasn't easy, but now I sleep better at night without that crushing guilt weighing me down.

What about you?

Were you taught right the first time? Or did you have to reteach yourself as well? Or are you still doing it wrong but you never knew and now that I told you that crushing guilt is going to keep you awake at night and curse me(!) for ever bringing it up?

And this, just because it's funny: My son typed a report for school, and wanted me to look at it before he printed it out. It looked a little something like this:


I looked at it and said, "It's good... except for all these extra spaces everywhere! What the Sam Hill is up with that?"

To which my son replied, "Oh, it's supposed to be that way. My teacher told us to double-space it."

Have I mentioned how much I love my kids?

Happy spacing, everyone.




P.S. Go enter in the DIVERGENT Giveaway if you haven't yet and still want a chance.

47 comments:

Shell Flower said...

I learned how to type in junior high on a typewriter (yep, I'm that old) so I had the double space after a period thing imbedded in me, as well. I still do it, but then at the end I do a find and replace to get rid of the double spaces. I haven't actually trained myself to just type one space yet, though sometimes I start out that way, it never lasts. Thank goodness for find and replace. I love the double space story, BTW. So cute.

Cristina said...

double space it! LOL that's too cute

I learned double space and I think it only shows our age, LOL.. and only recently did I discover it's been changed. I've been trying to retrain myself. It was really hard, but now I don't have to think about it as much.

Cynthia said...

I only double space after a period. You know new sentence. I'm wondering if that is wrong now. Personal I find it so much easir to read that way on the computer.

BECKY said...

Hi Peggy. Yep, I learned about double-spacing at the end of a sentence, too...Many moons ago. I like it the new way, though. My writing just flows faster without that extra "hit"! Have a fabulous day!

Janet said...

WOW I learned that way too, and I'm not that old lol

Stephanie Black said...

Yep, I used to do the two spaces after a period and had to get used to only doing one.

JeffO said...

I was taught right - which means I was taught to double space. However, that's apparently no longer right, so I don't do it anymore. My MS printed out to 315 pages. I wonder how many extra pages would have been added if I had doubled....

i'm erin. said...

That's Hilarious. I remember when I found out about the single space thing too. It kind of cramped my style for awhile. But now I love it.

Abby Fowers said...

LOL! I love it! Double spacing! hahaha. Kids rock!

And I learned about the single space deal not too long ago and had to re-train myself. So weird that they change things like that but, o-well. I've got it figured out now. No more guilt.

Angela Cothran said...

How cute is your son!!! I learned the correct way the first go around so I guess I am ahead of the curve :)

Bea Sempere said...

Yes! I found out this year and I had NO IDEA. It's tough breaking the thumb double tap. I guess it's a lesson in keeping up with grammar and punctuation changes.

I'll declare "It's a sign of amateur typography" is hogwash. If it is such an important change, it would be all over the writing arena.

P.S. Love what you son did.

Paul Tobin said...

Interesting post, in the uk we single space, to be honest, I've never doubled spaced or heard of anyone doing so.

Reece said...

Oh my goodness! I do layout for an industry magazine and let me put you at ease by saying practically EVERYBODY seems to have missed the memo. As a matter of fact, I didn't learn about this particular rule until I was in college (and learning about publication design). The problem is that NOBODY (at least in my industry) takes a hint! It's so frustrating!

Julianne Donaldson said...

I remember "double spacing" just like that when I was in junior high. My dad went through my whole report and took out every extra space.

Tara Tyler said...

ha ha ha ha! double space it. hee hee

and i'm a nonconformist. i dropped the xtra spaces when i started typing on word processors & emails =)

Jolene Perry said...

Okay, that's adorable.

I, too, learned about the space thing a year ago.

I'm still not positive that all my manuscripts have been "switched" over.

Kelley said...

That is SO funny. Double space it :)

Joshua said...

Oh, double space it all! I'd never thought there could be another translation of that. As far as the double-space after period, I've never done it, even when they taught us to do it. The Wife refuses to believe me when I tell her she needs to do it the single-space way.

Kristine said...

If I learned about the double spacing after a period, I didn't really listen. I really only ever did single.

J. A. Bennett said...

That is so cute!! Yeah, I'm really a rule follower so I typed with a single space until someone told me it was wrong. Yeah, I found out like a month later I was right. It was good thing too because I just couldn't get into the two space habit :)

Maggie said...

Hahaha. Huge pet peeve of mine when I see all that space in there. I'm from a newspaper background and extra space was wasted column inches. Good for you for re-teaching yourself.

E.R. King said...

I was taught two spaces, but in the middle of high school they changed the policy, so I was able to adjust quickly. By the time I hit college, it was natural. My husband missed the lesson. Whenever I edit his work the first thing I do is take out those extra spaces. They drive me bonkers.

Mel Fowler said...

I've read a alot about spaces after periods. What I found, like you, is that if you want to get something published then you're not supposed to do it. But, teachers like that double spacing because they can see where the sentences start. But, that is old fashioned because double spacing after was established for typewriting.

Happy spacing to you too! I've never learned to double space after a period, so I luckily don't have to learn how to re-write!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

That is so cute! I wonder what his teacher will say???

I still do two spaces after each sentence. I've heard the rumor that it should be one space, but I'm old school. (I better grab my cane and go to the barn to get my horses so I can go to town.) *wink*

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! Oh, Pegasus... you have the best kid stories!

Iain said...

Has someone told Word that this is the case? My pc tells me off if I miss a double space at the end of the sentence.
Can I check, will Life Imprisonment mean that I'll get my own cell, and some quiet time for writing?

Karen said...

Kids are hilarious. That's something one of mine would do.

I learned in high school to do two spaces between sentences. I went to college right out of high school, and in college they were teaching one space. That was the early 90s (during the big jump from word processors to computers), so I've been doing the one space ever since.

I run a writers' group in my town - you'd be surprised at the number of writers new to our group who still use the two space. So it's not uncommon.

I think sometimes people think style rules are like riding a bike. You never forget how to do it, and it is what it is. But style changes with the times - "The Chicago Manual of Style" is on its 16th edition. That should tell us something.

Jessie Humphries said...

Your kid deserves a cookie Peggy!

WilyBCool said...

I'm with most, it feels wrong and looks wrong not to double space at the end of a sentence. Then again, if someone appoints themself to to be the rule setter, who is the police of the newest rule setters rule?

;D

Angela Brown said...

Wait...what? We're NOT supposed to double-space after the period? Since when and why life imprisonment? I don't want to get shanked over a double-space after the period. I've been doing it forever. See? Look at all the spaces.

Oh no...okay. Deep breath and a cooking and I'll be fine.

Diane said...

I had to re-train myself and it was HARD for a while. Better now! :O)

S.P. Bowers said...

Well, the debate on spacing is still pretty fierce but two spaces after a period are definitely on the way out. It won't get a rejection though. Just make sure a manuscript is consistent and you'll be ok.

M Pax said...

I learned to type on a manual typewriter, so I must have learned 2 spaces. But somewhere along the way ... all the computer use, I learned one space and don't remember ever typing two.

The Golden Eagle said...

I was taught to use a single-space; actually, when I first started reading writing blogs, it surprised me that some people double-spaced. :P

Lan said...

I'm a single space gal. Two spaces seems like it would take up too much time! Though it would be annoying to have to change the way you prefer to type because half way through.

Alleged Author said...

I've always been a single space after type of person (mostly because teachers said we had to). My mom always used to yell at me, saying I needed more.

Laura Pauling said...

I learned 2 spaces but switched over to one space about 4 years ago. It really wasn't a hard habit to break! Thankfully I started with a new wip, so didn't have to change anything!

Leigh Ann said...

Ohhh, yes. That. I learned this when I had my first CP look at my first ever book - about five months ago. This one was hard to stomach.

Angel that she is, she corrected every. single. one. But I've resolved not to put her in that position again.

tfwalsh said...

I've never heard that... interesting...

Alexis Bass Writes said...

Ha! I am STILL trying to train myself. The double space feels SO natural!

LisaAnn said...

Hahaha, I'm still pissed about the double-spacing thing, but your son's interpretation is the BEST!

E.D. said...

Well, I'm still double-spacing. Hard habit to break, but working on it...

Ruth Josse said...

I was just talking about this with my brother and mom the other day! With all the reasons and explanations I gave them, they still wouldn't agree with me that it's changed. I'm going to have to push that article under their noses. Not that I enjoy being right or anything. ;)

Amanda Olivieri said...

I literally JUST learned this a few weeks ago and seriously, it ROCKED MY WORLD. I was taught to put two spaces after sentences also, and I've always prided myself on doing it the "right" way! It was quite challenging to train myself to only use one space after sentences, but I think I have the hang of it now :)

Melissa Sugar said...

Cute story. His paper looks a lot like my teenage daughter's paper. Her reason was because the teacher said it had to be one typed page, so of course she added spaces everywhere and increased the font to 18.

I was one of the last to learn about the single space at the end of a sentence and I felt very silly and stupid

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Double space it - so cute :)

But OMG!!! I thought I was a law-abiding citizen and a professional writer, and I had NO IDEA! about the single space. After a period? Really? I'll never retrain myself. Look - I'm doing it wrong as we speak!

Peggy Eddleman said...

These were seriously some of my favorite comments to read EVER! It was so interesting to read how many people had to re-train themselves, how many people learned correctly the first time.... I mean the CURRENT CORRECT WAY! We all learned it correct the first time, right?! Okay, so how many people learned it the one-space way the first time, and how many people still use two spaces. COMPLETELY FASCINATING, I tell you! I had no idea a little tiny space would be so much fun to talk about!

Have I told you guys lately how much you rock my world?